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tv   Secret Financial Life of Food  CSPAN  November 16, 2013 6:15pm-6:56pm EST

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get a phonecall and go like this to his secretary. run the tape. there's a tape of johnson talking. talking to the president if hacker slacks. he said are you the fellow that makes hacker slacks? you made five pairs of pants last summer. i need five more pairs of pants. you have to give me more room in the because those pants the president of the united states, a white house tape. these tapes, we love it. >> kennedy comes off better in private than nixon or johnson. he didn't seem to let his guard down and he was this profane. was he just a more buttoned up her snout they. >> i think he was more buttoned
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up but he was more self-confident. as he grew he grew in the presence and by the end of 1000 days i think he was much more comfortable in office and very confident that he would win the election. he joked with his aides in the said if we wanted run against barry goldwater we will get to sleep must earlier on election night than we did in 1960 knowing that the race against nixon was so terribly close. so he had a lot of self-confidence at that point and was convinced that -- and of course he did give that great american university speech still worth listening to today and his civil rights speech was very slow to come forward on civil rights but when he finally acted that speech was brilliantly done and from the heart, and was really very impressive.
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so you know terribly sad that he they couldn't have had that second term to see what else might have happened. in a sense what he has left us and what the public has embraced is the point he started with, 85% approval. people loved him. he was the presidential hero of people's memories. >> you said something powerful. he grew. he did grow. he started off cerebral blood gain confidence in his leadership and bobby kennedy grew too from the brash mccarthy to have great compassion for people. what was it with the ambitious father who had been determined to succeed at all costs and the mother with all the kids that allowed these two men to grow? >> i think for bobby it was his brother's assassination. i think it was such a searing
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depressing experience for him but it generated a kind of compassion and a feeling of reaching out to those who were the least advantaged in society and needed the most help. for kennedy, i think the presidency was in some ways a sobering experience. he knew how close they had come to a nuclear and the burdens of power had sobered him and left him feeling that he was incredibly lucky in his life. his father as he once said had made it all possible and he would acquit himself in the greatest possible way to sort of fulfill his contention and was lucky to have gained the white house. so i think they became -- there
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was a degree of humility that came along with the authority. >> so self-confident in arrogant in some ways but -- as well. i could go on and on like that there are lots of great questions. one questions asked by several audience members do you believe. [inaudible] [laughter] you are among friends. you can tell us the truth. >> i do think the commission got it on the mentally right. i don't believe there was conspiracy and i think oswald was the only killer. for me the interesting question is, why is it to this day 59% of people in this country still think there is an undisclosed or was an undisclosed conspiracy?
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i think it has a lot to do with the feeling that people can accept the proposition that someone has inconsequential as oswald could have killed someone as consequential as the president. and also, they are deeply troubled by the idea that there could be this sort of happenstance, this chance happening that after all this oswald was a ne'er-do-well that's got off the lucky shots and of course what is also neglected in this narrative is the fact that when kennedy was shot, the first bullet went through the back of his neck. he was wearing it backwards in the way he normally wore to deal with the terrible back pain that he normally had.
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if he hadn't been wearing that back brace that first hole at would have toppled him. the bullet that hit the back of his head and killed him never would have found it smart. so it is just fortuitous but it's very hard for people to accept that. there has got to be some larger design, some larger explanation for how this all could have happened. and the warren commission reports the fbi and the cia hid certain things. they didn't want the public to know. how could they have not known about oswald that he got this battalion mail order rifle. the guy was a nutcase and had been in the soviet union. why didn't they know about his whereabouts? they were very defensive and i
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think the warren commission report in some ways whitewashed or omitted the failings of the fbi in the but the basic conclusion is correct. i think the most extensive work on this is by anthony bugliosi, 1650 pages. it's an encyclopedia with all these conspiracy ideas and yet they thrive. i looked the other day at amazon and my new book was among the hardcover sellers there. it was number three. the two books that if it were conspiracies, assassination books. and i really don't deal with the assassination. i just feel it's sort of being a dead horse. >> audience members want to know what kennedy have --
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if he would have had a second term? >> i think unquestionably. when he pulled the civil rights bill before congress he and bobby were very concerned that they would jeopardize the 64 re-election because they had won by such a neuromargin and they won texas and a few other southern states. they needed those southern states they felt to be reelected and they thought the civil rights bill would jeopardize the hold on the southern states so he he needed johnson there to show up in texas and that is why he went to dallas, to do political fencemending in november 62, a year before -- rather 63, a year before the 64 election. >> in the same spirit, given your research into jfk's medical
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history would addison's disease have affected his second term? >> impossible to know. my position friends i spoke to said they didn't think he would have lived a long life but the medicines he was taking were enough to see him through probably another four years. and these questions about his medical history is very dicey. woodrow wilson after he was elected, wilson had a series of very small strokes and he went to see a neurologist here in philadelphia. this man was the most distinguished neurologists in the country at the time. he told dr. grayson who was wilson's white house physician, admiral grayson, that he didn't think wilson would live out his term. he had some kind of terrible stroke and of course wilson made it through almost seven years of
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the presidency before he had that terrible stroke. all sorts of people said cheney would never get through eight years because of his heart condition so i would be reluctant to predict anything about kennedy's health. i doubt it would it deterred him from his second term. >> a great question with a constitutional cast. with the current environment of partisan politics what past presidents would be most successful in what attributes do they need? cerebral doesn't seem to work. [laughter] >> yeah. well, i think it would have been a hell of a lot more difficult for people like fdr, theater roosevelt in this current media environment because it's 24/7 news cycle. it's so much more difficult to
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escape the clutches. you know johnson used to sit in a hideaway office kneecap to kneecap with edward dirksen the minority leader. dirksen would say dam mr. president i know a fine young man and my home state of illinois who i believe deserves a judgeship and johnson would say we will look into that. the deal was cut. johnson was going to get dirksen's vote on something in dirksen was going to get it for his constituency. if this were the case now, they would scream political corruption. that is how politics works. that is how it worked in the past. it's so much more difficult i think to operate in that way. there were leaks to the press.
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johnson hated the leaks, kennedy hated the leaks. roosevelroosevel roosevelt didn't liked although johnson and roosevelt and kennedy, they would leak things to the press themselves. ross now once told me when johnson appointed national security adviser he called them up the night before the announcement was being made at midnight and said to them why did you tell the press i'm appointing you national security pfizer? roscoe said mr. president i didn't tell anybody, didn't tell the resident johnson hung up on him. he went to bed not knowing if johnson was going to announce his appointment the next day but it was johnson's way of controlling him. johnson and joe califano talk about this in his memoir about the way in which johnson would control people. this was one technique he had. the kennedys would leak things
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that would be to their advantage. it's a very changed environment. >> we began by talking about the polls and i want to end by asking you about your professional assessment of kennedy. he was very focused on greatness and the idea of great leaders, great men. where does he ran? he had a short-term. average? >> i would say jeff a significant president. i wouldn't say he was a great president in a league with let's say trn at dr. or lincoln or washington but he was a significant president. in some ways his legacy becomes more significant than his record as president. there were some great achievements, significant achievements as president. the resolution of cuban missile
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crisis the promise to put man on the moon, putting the civil rights bill before congress. those four mage or bills that johnson passed it be called kennedy johnson bills but impossible to describe him in a league although lots of people people -- the polls show him since his death consistently one of the top five presidents in american history and historians see this quite differently from the general public. so there is a kind of division. i have thought about those 50 years from now, will there be a time like this to remember kennedy? i think it depends on what happens with the presidency of the next 50 years. if another president comes along who captures the country's imagination and becomes heroic, thrills the country with their leadership, i think it will
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eclipse kennedy but as long as there is the feeling that these presidents are stumbling and not all that effective, people continue to turn to kennedy and to reagan, and to reagan. he said the pride is that. i don't think people remember what presidents do. do they remember that roosevelt but the that roosevelt that the food and drug administration place or wilson was the architect of the federal reserve or roosevelt did social security? you know that elderly man who said i don't want the government fooling with my medicare. do they know johnson put that federal program? you remember some of the rhetoric. roosevelt said nothing to fear but fear itself and kennedy said ask not what your country can do
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for you, ask what you can do for your country. reagan said it's mourning in america and the pride is that. we remember these inspirational talks. for the moment kennedy and reagan are the ones who fill that bill. it will be interesting to see what evolves over the next 50 years. i am very selfish. i say i wish it would could come back in a couple hundred years and see what has happened in the country but my grandiosity does not extend that far. [laughter] >> ladies and gentlemen please join me in thanking robert dallek. [applause] >> thank you.
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>> you kara newman looks at how the commodities market influences what we eat and what we pay for. she says the markets have
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changed culinary trends for hundreds of years. ms. newman spoke at the world bank in washington d.c.. this is about 40 minutes. >> thank you to the world bank for hosting today. i do appreciate it. i do feel the need to start by saying i am not an economist. i'm a food writer. i may culinary historian. just explain a little bit about how the book came about, when i first started my career i wrote about financial topics. i worked with a small consulting company that was acquired by much larger conglomerate and i was tasked with creating content about the equities market and the one that completely changed my life the commodities market. so how did that change my life? when i started learning about
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commodities, of course i realized that there are certain products such as oil and gold but there are also products that fall into the agricultural commodities segments and those are food products like cattle, soybeans, coffee, cocoa and to me in menu. maybe this was a sign that one day i would be a food writer but everything came together for me when i bet the financial newsweekly and that's one expert jim rogers was quoted as saying by breakfast. what did he mean by this? he was advising people to purchase frozen orange juice futures and pork belly futures which no longer trade now but he was essentially saying by orange juice and by bacon. i've breakfast. right there that solidified for me what the book concept was going to be, amash of food and finance and what i love about food is that it does allow you
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to tell stories about people, about history and in this case about finance to a degree and one of the things i found as i went along was the history of america's commodity exchange really runs a parallel course with a history of industrialization and technology in america. by this i mean the telegraph. that really help to bring up prices around the country and around the world. you were just talking to your neighbor and saying i think well i think this commodity should be priced at this. you were able to find out what it was priced at in chicago and hamburg and in london and first we have the telephone. we have computers. every trader has a smartphone in their pocket. we are also talking about improvements and canals and railroads systems that played an important part in getting products from the center of the country where they were mostly produced to the east coast where most of the people were located.
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and of course the floors of those financial markets really a changed considerably over time. we will show you some of those shortly. what you no longer see are the chalk works in the whiteboards. everything has to be digitized. you no longer have these ankle-deep tickets of trading tickets. in some cases we no longer have trading boards. it's just a completely different world now. so i have my lovely exploding hamburger. i thought it would be fun, it's a lunchtime event so instead of just talking about generalities i thought we would talk about some of the specifics in this case. just to backtrack for a minute understanding what a commodities contract is. it's essentially a contract between a buyer and a seller. it's a promise between a buyer and a seller to buy or sell a
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specific quantity of a specific good, let's say beef at a specified point in the future so the futures market and what isn't spelled out in that contract is the price. that really goes back and forth. the more often that contract trades and the greater the spread between these trades the more money that can be made. talking about our lovely hamburger here just some of the products that you see. of course we have the hamburger patty and cattle futures. obviously you want your hamburger on eight fun so we are talking about grain futures. we are talking about sesame seeds. you want a cheeseburger instead of just a burger. she's also trades in blocks and barrels and trades a lot less frequently than beef futures but it does indeed trade and some of those other items there either
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don't trade or no longer trade. i'm not aware of let us ever having traded. onions on the other hand were a tremendously speculative market and there was a huge scandal in trading onions. if you want to ask more about it during q&a. we are still talking about cattle and it really has a very long history, intertwining with finance. you can even see it in words like bikini very and capital and of course the bull market. this image, this is a reduce livestock tainting. i show it to you because i don't think people realize the extent to which the british have really played an important part in the beef that we eat today. not just the week eat so much but the type as well. this livestock portrait, this sort of thing was found across
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many upper-class british drawing room. the presence of beef in the picture signified affluence and comfort. as america builds up through the 1800's and the anthrax epidemic spread to ireland and britain and as a result of made british effects pence at. they turned to america where we had plenty of eve and we started to ship salted beef and live cattle across the atlantic. this image here is the chicago stockyards in 1941 and if you look in the back and you might recognize a couple of names. farmer ends with some current meet processors that existed at the time. again we have the epidemic in the ribs coming to us for beef and at the same time america
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pushing westward grazing cattle in the midwest and a big question became how to connect the midwest where the beef was grown and processed and get it back to swear more people lived and beyond the atlantic to the brits who wanted it. what happened was the british cattle barons played an enormous part in the financing of the railroads. as those were built up in the 1870and 1880s the brits were involved in financing. what was exciting with the advent of refrigerated railway card. it meant no longer did you have to ship live cattle that often didn't make the journey board -- once the journey was complete and were able to ship more animal carcasses were -- as delicately called. at the late 19th century
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america was responsible for 90% of the beef imported to england. it sounds great, right? one little wrinkle. the british like there beef well marbled and away the cattle was raised here, they were happy cattle raised in the midwest to grazing grazing on grasses and that yielded a very lean beef. so the solution, the british cattle barons and the farmers hit on the solution of finishing or fattening cows with corn. that worked. the cattle got fatter. it also created this symbiotic relationship between cattle and corn that exist to this day. still a very common hedge to trade cattle futures and corn futures together. so you you have a happy brits and a happy farmers.
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who wasn't happy with the americans. they weren't accustomed to this fatty beef but over time our tastes have adjusted and it's even to the point where it's been codified into the usda. the highest level now signifies that it's very well marbled among other things and were only just now getting back to the tradition of grass-fed beef. you sometimes see it on restaurant menus, within certain artisan farms. grass-fed the visit desirable quality right now and people don't realize what we are doing is going back to our roots. i'm going to present five secrets about her food. some of these are not necessarily well kept secrets but nevertheless. this photo here, this is the chicago mercantile. these are egg traders from 1949.
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some peoples may say we traded eggs? we did. there was a time where was an active and decadent market and in fact they were also both a contracts that traded. i mention this because one of the secrets to what trades and what doesn't trade is volatility. like i said the more often something trades the better it is for making money. once it no longer makes money it no longer trade so eggs are a good example of this. just to walk you through, we still have fresh eggs that there was a time when eggs for hailes seasonal. they hence would lay and we would have eggs. they were hard to get. some very smart people figured out how to create storage eggs and that involved taking fresh eggs and coating them with a thin layer of vegetable oil and putting them into cold storage.
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we are talking refrigeration here. when the hens were no longer laying those smart people would take those eggs out of cold storage and sell them at a premium to restaurants, two hotels so all the people who could afford to pay higher prices for those stored eggs. we also had frozen eggs and those were sold primarily to baking companies used for mayonnaise and later that was displaced by powdered eggs. eventually as we had increases in technology advances and animal husbandry we now have eggs year-round. there is no longer volatility to eggs. you can go to the supermarket and get eggs anytime you want as many as you want. over time frozen egg contracts
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and storage eggs contracts were phased out. we no longer have eggs trading. the same applies to pork belly futures. again advances in agriculture and refrigeration technology. pork bellies stopped trading after a 50 year run. cattle futures, though still trade. i believe it has a lot to do with not only the fact that there is this high-end to corn but there are also other fact there's that influence volatility and cattle. things like mad cow disease and other diseases and of course the impact of consumer demand can't be understated. secret number two, this photo. this is the opening day of the live hog contract on the mercantile exchange in 1956. you can see the chalk board there kind of a relic of the
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past. let's talk a little bit about how farmers use commodity prices to make decisions. i had a conversation of course with chad hart the assistant professor at iowa state university. he is a market specialists. to read to you as a farmer i can decide whether to plant soybeans or corn. which will provide a better price at harvester i can decide the amount to grow. is it necessarily an accurate signal? know what's the best and we have. people are willing to put up contracts which represents an actual transaction that will occur. as a farmer you have to make that decision should i plant soybeans or should i plant corn? should i use that same space to raise cattle or to grow something else? these are really important
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decisions when you're trying to decide what to plant. food crisis can influence what gets planted. number three, any guesses on which product is the most traded in america? i heard someone say corn. yes, corn is number one. number two, any guesses soybeans, yes. this is a smart group. the reason isn't necessarily that we eat so much corn or eat so many soybeans ourselves but also because livestock consume the same products. corn is consumed by us but it's also consumed by cattle and pigs it's also made into corn syrup and it's made into corn oil. it's made into ethanol and other nonedible products. and soybeans, the same thing. soybeans are consumed a lot live poultry. poultry no longer trades.
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there has been a point in time when futures traded and turkey futures traded just in time for thanksgiving. but poultry is the number one consumer of soybeans and at the same time dairy cows consume soybean. just like we have that corn and cattle hedge there are also experts who recommend putting together soybean futures against publicly traded companies that specialize like tyson which is another classic trade and again they are used for nonedible products. it's important. secret number four. think for a moment about how incredibly maddening it would be if he went to the supermarket
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and the prices of coffee bounced up and down the same way utility markets do every day. up and down. up and down. you would know what to pay for food. you would know how to budget. it would probably drive people at starbucks crazy. they would know what kind of price to set so it's good the commodities market helps to exclude out those prices over time and they don't really get factored into supermarket pricing. at least they don't get factored in right away. there tends to be a lag of the year to a year and a half if there's a sustained trajectory. eventually you would see prices going higher are going lower but it would take a good year to a year and a half. so this kind of pricing information is useful for manufactures is a critical tool. they use it to help decide what the market will pay for their
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market when they bring something to market. it's a process called price discovery. it helps restaurants and manufacturers manage costs and profits. also for the book i talked with commodities expert phil platt. he works with companies, restaurant companies in food manufactures to help manage food costs in the users he commodities market is an important tool. say we are talking about hamburgers again. just imagine what the impact of the 25% spike in cattle prices would mean if you are the owner of the hamburger chain. this gives you a couple of options if you can look to the future and understand where prices are likely to go even if it's as simple as higher or lower let alone higher by how much or lower by how much. you can think about raising menu prices.
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assuming that won't scare customers away. you can think about making changes to the product carried will there be smaller hamburger patties? you can think about making substitutions instead of having hamburgers, and maybe you'll have turkey burgers. maybe we'll change the entire concept of your restaurant. instead of the hamburger chain u. will have one of those fast casual salad chains. kind of an interesting side note, i recently went to a conference called star chefs and sat in on an adjusting presentation and learn how to make the ultimate fried chicken. the chef who is doing the demo explained he was about to start a fried chicken restaurant because he said i just can't handle the weight beef prices and pork prices bounce up and down. poultry prices are a lot more stable and he made the prediction then and there that we would be seeing a lot more poultry only restaurant concepts
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opening up because the price of chicken is so much more stable compared to others. on a much smaller scale that is how commodities prices impact what i'm going to be eating. also when it comes to packaged foods there is also an impact. and it varies depending on what the product is. if we talk about a hamburger, a hamburger is eve and a very important input. when you're talking about things like a box of cereal, it might be a very small input. this comes from the usda. when we buy packaged goods like a box of cornflakes, only 15 to 20 cents of every dollar goes to that raw commodity so any thoughts on where else the money goes? advertising, packaging, processing, labor, real estate, fuel, all very important inputs
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that go into this. when you get down to it you spend more on packaging than you do on the raw commodities in your box of cornflakes. secret number five. although i don't personally take a stance on whether the commodities market is good or bad, there are people who want to cut the middleman out together -- altogether and buy commodity foods. again if you want to the secret is out there. you can. buy direct from your green market, buy direct from farmers. work with small artisans. there are a lot of things you can do to cut the middleman out of the process. join the csa. again that's only if you want to opt out of buying commodities. the option is there if you wanted. so with that, i'm happy to take questions.
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>> thank you very much kara. you kept the presentation within 30 minutes. before we start with the q&a i would like to say you can buy these books today after the seminar if you're interested. with that, let's open it up. any questions? please go to the mic. if you have questions please go to either microphone on the right of the left. we will take a couple and bundle it and go back to kara. and please introduce yourself. >> good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. i'm the president of the international group. my company is in the district and i forecast on consulting and commodities. so thank you for your wonderful presentation on food. looking at here presentation,
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you talk about the commodity and it was a wonderful presentation. i come from -- what would you advise, what would be the best commodity for africa for african development and growing? what would you advise the best commodity to be traded in the united states and around the world? thank you. >> good afternoon. i'm with new rules for global finance and i am curious, we have heard of commodities as a way to diversify your investments
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